AfDB approves $5 million for entrepreneurs under Tony Elumelu Foundation

The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship has received a grant of $5 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support entrepreneurs operating small to medium-sized enterprises.

The $5 million grant was approved by AfDB’s Board of Directors after a letter of intent was signed by the Bank and the Tony Elumelu Foundation at the entrepreneurship programme organised by the Foundation in March 2019.

AfDB approved the grant to back the Tony Elumelu Foundation in its quest to scale up its reach and impact 1,000 selected young entrepreneurs. Meanwhile, the Tony Elumelu Foundation will provide selected African entrepreneurs with business training, mentoring, access to networks, markets and capital to develop their business which will lead to job creation.

In a statement received by Nairametrics, the bank stated that, “The partnership will support 3,050 young entrepreneurs across 54 African countries. The Bank’s participation will enable an additional 1,000 entrepreneurs to benefit from the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program, which provides much-needed opportunities to help stem the rising tide of unemployment and inequality facing the continent’s youngest citizens.”

What you need to know: AfDB has a ten-year Jobs for Youth in Africa strategy which was initiated in 2016. The bank’s initiative is reportedly in line with the Tony Elumelu Foundation programme. The AfDB initiative supports the creation of 25 million decent jobs across Africa.

Apart from the creation of jobs, the AfDB initiative will also provide employable skills to 50 million young Africans in order to enable them “access economic opportunities and realize their full economic potential across the continent.”

According to the statement, AfDB isn’t the only development partners supporting the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme. The foundation is backed by the likes of Agence Française de Développement, the German Agency for International Cooperation, the United Nations Development Programme and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

In 2017, the Bank established the Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multi-Donor Trust Fund, in partnership with the governments of Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands.

The fund is a grant vehicle managed by the Bank to support the African entrepreneurship ecosystem directly and indirectly by leveraging on the Bank’s instruments. Its interventions will equip Africa’s youth with the right tools to establish start-ups and micro, small and medium enterprises.

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